What does a (good) UX designer do?

by | Dec 23, 2023 | UX | 0 comments

Let’s start with a controversy: If we look at ISO 9241-201 and the curriculum of the UXQB (Usability and User Experience Qualification Board), we find out that the role of UX design doesn’t actually exist. However, why the job title UX Designer is still correct and what you need to do to become a good UX Designer is explained in this article.

UX Designers are Generalists

As already mentioned in the introduction: The role of the UX Designer doesn’t actually exist. Instead, different roles within the User Centered Design process are distinguished:
– Usability Engineer
– User Requirements
– Usability Tester
– Information Architect
– Interaction Designer
– User Interface Designer

These different roles have various deliverables. While the Usability Engineer takes care of planning, the User Requirements Engineer is responsible for user research (describing user context, creating personas, reporting on requirements and needs, specifying usage requirements). Then, the Information Architect takes care of the information architecture. With this, the User Interface Designer develops a low-fidelity prototype. The Interaction Designer then delivers a style guide in an iteration before a high-fidelity prototype is developed. At the end of the process, the Usability Tester evaluates the prototype.

That’s quite a lot of people working on a project. However, companies often look for generalists who are specialists in several areas. Especially in environments where agile models (Agile, Lean UX) are used, usually a few employees cover multiple specialties.

After this explanation, which is a little unintuitive and very theoretical, let’s take a look at what a UX Designer actually does in everyday life.

What Does a UX Designer Actually Do?

A UX Designer

1. Analyzes the target groups and the competition
– User types and groups*
– User goals and behavior*
– Motivation
– Best practices and competitors
– Improvement potentials
* e.g., based on existing data (tracked through Analytics or Piwik)

2. Develops a strategy:
– Product and company goals
– Tasks, scope, and requirements
– Methodologies
– Contents and functions
– Project planning

3. Builds an architecture
– Structuring of contents and functions
– Definition of levels and hierarchies
– Development of navigation
– Determination of search, sorting, and filtering
– Definition of the contents of individual screens
– Determination of paths through the application

4. Sketches Wireframes
– Definition of content structure and functions
– Positioning of individual elements (including navigation and interactions)
– Development of responsive views

After this, the Visual Designers and Developers take over the project and implement it accordingly.

Now we have a better insight into what a UX Designer does in everyday life. As you may have noticed, not all roles of the User Centered Design process are covered here. I have listed the most important and frequent tasks of the UX Designer, in my opinion.

Why is the (above mentioned) Work of the UX Designer Important?

Design is not comparable to art. Design, and accordingly UX Design, solves problems: The user finds the information he is looking for right away. He finds his way around and feels comfortable using the product. His expectations are met, he remembers the application positively. In short, his user experience is consistently positive. This in turn creates trust and a bond with the brand, leading to consumption, recommendations, and positive reviews.

How Do I Become a Good UX Designer?

Skills, Skills, Skills!

If you want to become a UX Designer, you must be aware that you will be learning for a lifetime. UX Design is a relatively new field and constantly changing. While 30 years ago, people mainly interacted with computers via the command line, today we talk to Siri and Alexa. Voice User Interfaces are the current trend. No one can say what will be the trend in 5 years. For this reason, a good UX Designer must constantly expand and train his knowledge and skills.

There are various ways to do this:
– Further education through seminars and courses by IHK and other providers
– Online courses like:
– Interaction Design Foundation (Affiliate link: [https://www.interaction-design.org/invite?r=dennis-wagner](https://www.interaction-design.org/invite?r=dennis-wagner))
– UDemy
– YouTube
– Books
– Practice, Practice, Practice!

3 Requirements that Good UX Designers (Absolutely) Must Meet

Analyze and Think Systemically

You should be able to think very analytically and systemically if you want to become a UX Designer. This is necessary to understand and prepare processes and structures. After that, as a UX Designer, you can deal with interfaces and interfaces. However, the prerequisite here is that you must really be interested in the subject matter, as you have to delve very deeply into it.

Persistence & Perseverance

You need persistence and perseverance. UX Design is particularly interesting when the task is to develop a digital product design. Although this is not exclusively the case, it is always increasingly so. Product design, or rather the path to it, is not a quick business, but rather a longer process. You should have a long breath, a tough shell, and be able to handle criticism well. You should enjoy fighting for your ideas and asserting yourself against clients and your team. A good UX Designer has his finished product in mind as a goal, not the paycheck.

Be Open and Develop Your Own Ideas

The phrase “Think outside the box” is so clichéd and yet could not be more appropriate here. Schemes, templates, and models are wonderful for learning and practicing. But after that, you should be open, think around the corner, and offer your own ideas a platform. As a UX Designer, you have the task of designing experiences, experiences, and emotions, and this is usually best done with your own ideas. At the beginning, there should be a basic idea. Then, immediately create scribbles, wireframes, and prototypes. In the end, you can refine and improve. If you tend to linger too long in theory, UX Designer is not your calling.


A good UX Designer is a generalist and masters the various roles within the User Centered Design process. He is hungry and wants to learn new things all his life. He is empathetic and can put himself in other people’s shoes and has persistence and perseverance. He regularly continues his education and follows various blogs and magazines.